GREEN BAY (10-4) AT TAMPA BAY (2-12)
Sunday, Dec. 21 - Raymond James Stadium - 12 p.m. CST
PACKERS TRAVEL TO TAMPA BAY
This is an abbreviated version of the Dope Sheet. Read the full version here (PDF).
- Green Bay will play its final road game of the regular season this Sunday against the Buccaneers.
- Green Bay leads the regular-season series against the Buccaneers 30-21-1 and won the last meeting, 35-26, in 2011 at Lambeau Field.
- The Packers are looking to record consecutive victories against Tampa Bay for the first time since winning six in a row (including the postseason) from 1996-98.
- This will be the Packers’ first visit to Tampa Bay since 2009.
- Green Bay’s last victory on the road over the Buccaneers was on Nov. 16, 2003 (20-13).
- Of the 52 games between the two teams during the regular season, 31 have been decided by 10 points or less, including nine of the last 10 contests.
- The Packers are 3-0 this season following a loss.
- A win would give Green Bay at least a .500 record on the road for the fourth regular season in a row and for the seventh time in nine seasons under Head Coach Mike McCarthy.
- Green Bay’s 39 road wins during the regular season under McCarthy are tied (N.Y. Giants, New Orleans) for the fifth most in the league since 2006 (New England-49 / Indianapolis, Dallas-41 / Philadelphia-40).
- The Packers have won at least 10 games in six of nine regular seasons under McCarthy, including five of the last six. He is tied with Curly Lambeau (1929-32, 1936, 1941) for the most 10-win seasons as a head coach in franchise history.
- Under McCarthy, the Packers are 24-12 in the month of December, including wins in nine of their last 12.
- Dating back to 1995, Green Bay has won 10 or more regular-season games 14 times.
- Packers LB Julius Peppers has played the Buccaneers 16 times in his career due to his many years in the NFC South as a member of the Carolina Panthers. Against Tampa Bay, Peppers has 15.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one interception. He has recorded at least one sack in three of his last four games versus the Buccaneers.
- In Week 17, Green Bay returns to Lambeau Field to take on the Detroit Lions in the final game of the regular season.
- Green Bay clinches a playoff spot with:
1) GB win + PHI loss or tie OR
2) GB win + DAL win or tie OR
3) GB tie + PHI loss OR
4) GB tie + PHI tie + DAL win or tie OR
5) PHI loss + DAL win or tie
WITH THE CALL
- FOX Sports, now in its 21st season as an NFL network television partner, will broadcast the game to a regional audience.
- Play-by-play man Chris Myers joins analyst Ronde Barber with Jennifer Hale reporting from the sidelines.
- Milwaukee’s WTMJ (620 AM), airing Green Bay games since November 1929, heads up the Packers Radio Network that is made up of 50 stations in five states. Wayne Larrivee (play-by-play) and two-time Packers Pro Bowler Larry McCarren (analyst) call the action. McCarren first joined the team’s broadcasts in 1995 and enters his 20th season calling Packers’ games. McCarren, who is in his 26th year in Green Bay television, has four times been voted Wisconsin Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. After originally being paired together in 1999, McCarren and Larrivee enter their 16th season of broadcasts together.
- Westwood One will air the game across the country. Kevin Lee (play-by-play) and Ross Tucker (analyst) will call the action with Scott Graham hosting pre-game and halftime shows.
- The broadcast is also available on Sirius Satellite Radio (WTMJ feed) as part of the network’s NFL Sunday Drive.
- DIRECTV subscribers can watch the game on channel 712.
THE DOPE ON THIS WEEK’S OPPONENT:
- Packers at Buccaneers:
- All-time, regular season: 30-21-1
- All-time, postseason: 1-0
- All-time, on the road: 12-14-1
- Streaks: Tampa Bay has won three of the last four.
- Last meeting, regular season: Nov. 20, 2011, at Lambeau Field; Packers won, 35-26
- Mike McCarthy: 98-54-1, .644 (incl. 6-5 postseason); 9th NFL season
- Lovie Smith: 86-78, .524 (incl. 3-3 postseason); 10th NFL season
- Head to Head: McCarthy 10-5
- vs. Opponent: McCarthy 1-2 vs. Buccaneers; Smith 8-11 vs. Packers
MIKE McCARTHY…Is in his ninth year as the Packers’ 14th head coach.
- Joined Vince Lombardi and Mike Holmgren as the only coaches to guide the Packers to a Super Bowl title with a win over Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XLV.
- Led the Packers to their fifth consecutive playoff appearance last season, joining New England as the only two NFL teams to do so over that span. Has also led the team to six playoff appearances in the last seven years (2007, 2009-13).
- Has guided the Packers to top-10 finishes in scoring each of the past seven seasons (2007-13), joining the Patriots as the only other team to accomplish the feat.
- His .652 winning percentage during the regular season (92-49-1) ranks No. 3 among active NFL coaches (min. 50 games).
- Was named Packers head coach on Jan. 12, 2006, his first head-coaching job after 13 years as an NFL assistant.
LOVIE SMITH…Is in his first year as the Buccaneers’ 10th head coach.
- Prior to joining Tampa Bay, Smith spent nine seasons as the head coach of the Chicago Bears. He left Chicago ranked third all-time in coaching victories, behind Hall of Famers George Halas and Mike Ditka.
- He led the Bears to three division titles, two NFC Championship Game appearances and the 2006 NFC crown, the team’s first Super Bowl apperance in 21 years.
- Guided Chicago to three 11-win seasons during his tenure, including a career-high 13 victories in 2006.
- Named the AP NFL Coach of the Year in 2005 after he led a worst-to-first revival in the NFC North. The Bears’ six-win improvement from the previous season was tied for the biggest in the NFL that year.
- Came to Chicago from St. Louis, where he served as defensive coordinator from 2001-03, helping the Rams return to the Super Bowl in 2001. Prior to that, coached LBs for Tampa Bay from 1996-2000.
THE PACKERS-BUCCANEERS SERIES
- Sunday marks the 54th overall meeting between these former NFC Central rivals. They launched the series in 1977, when the expansion Bucs moved to the Packers’ division after an inaugural 1976 campaign in the AFC West.
- Including a 1997 playoff victory, the Packers hold a 31-21-1 advantage. But since the Bucs shifted to the NFC South before the 2002 season, Tampa has won four of the last six.
- From the second meeting in 1992 through the first meeting in 1998, the Packers won 12 of 13 contests. The Bucs’ lone win in that stretch came in overtime (Dec. 10, 1995).
- The teams have played at least once every year except 1976, 1982, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2012 and 2013 since Tampa Bay entered the league in 1976.
Packers quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt served in the same position with the Buccaneers from 2010-11…Packers assistant head coach/linebackers Winston Moss was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the second round of the 1987 NFL Draft and played four seasons (1987-90) in Tampa Bay…Packers senior personnel executive Alonzo Highsmith played for Tampa Bay for the final two seasons (1991-92) of his NFL career…Both Moss and Highsmith are from Miami and played at the University of Miami...Packers LB Sam Barrington is from Jacksonville, Fla. and played at the University of South Florida, who plays their home games at Raymond James Stadium...Other Packers with ties to Florida include S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (Orlando), DT Letroy Guion (Starke / Florida State), RB DuJuan Harris (Brooksville), Josh Sitton (Pensacola, University of Central Florida), CB Sam Shields (Sarasota, University of Miami), pro scout Glenn Cook (Miami, University of Miami) and director of pro personnel Eliot Wolf (University of Miami)...Buccaneers C Evan Dietrich-Smith Played for the Packers from 2009-2013...Buccaneers LB Danny Lansanah played for Green Bay in 2008...Buccaneers linebackers coach Hardy Nickerson played for the Packers in 2002...Buccaneers offensive quality control coach Ben Steele played for the Packers from 2004-05...Buccaneers cornerbacks coach Gill Byrd was the executive director/player programs for the Packers from 1999-2001...Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith coached linebackers at the University of Wisconsin in 1987...Packers head coach Mike McCarthy was the offensive coordinator for San Francisco while Buccaneers offensive line coach George Warhop worked in the same position...Packers LB Julius Peppers played for the Chicago Bears while Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith, special teams coordinator Kevin O’Dea, Byrd, wide receivers coach Andrew Hayes-Stoker, safeties coach Mikal Smith, assistant defensive line coach Mike Phair, QB Josh McCown and S Major Wright were with the Bears...Packers DT Letroy Guion played for the Minnesota Vikings while Buccaneers defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier worked in the same position and then was the head coach...In 2004, Packers tight ends coach Jerry Fontenot played center for the Bengals while Frazier was the defensive coordinator...Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers worked in the same position for Pittsburgh while Packers secondary-safeties coach Darren Perry and Nickerson played for the Steelers...Packers QB Scott Tolzien and Buccaneers S Dashon Goldson were teammates in San Francisco...Packers T David Bakhtiari played at Colorado while Buccaneers tight ends coach Jon Embree was the head coach...Perry and running backs coach Sam Gash played at Penn State while O’Dea was an assistant coach...Packers wide receivers coach Edgar Bennett played fullback at Florida State University and was inducted into the Florida State Hall of Fame in 2005…Packers assistant special teams caoch Ron Zook was an assistant coach at the University of Florida from 1991-95 and the head coach from 2002-04…College teammates include Packers S Morgan Burnett and Buccaneers DE Michael Johnson (Georgia Tech), Packers T Bryan Bulaga and Buccaneers TE Brandon Myers, Packers DT Josh Boyd and Buccaneers CB Johnthan Banks, Packers G Lane Taylor and Buccaneers LB Orie Lemon, and Packers DE Datone Jones and Buccaneers CB Alterraun Verner (UCLA)…Packers director of public relations Jason Wahlers worked in public relations for the Buccaneers from 2002-11.
LAST MEETING, AT TAMPA BAY
- Nov. 8, 2009, at Raymond James Stadium; Buccaneers won, 38-28.
- It was a back-and-forth game with Green Bay leading 28-17 early in the fourth quarter. Tampa Bay scored 21 unanswered points to close the game out and win by 10.
- QB Aaron Rodgers threw for two touchdowns and three interceptions, including one that was returned for a touchdown to seal the victory in the final minute.
- Rookie QB Josh Freeman threw for 205 yards and three touchdowns on 14-of-31 passing.
- Packers RB Ryan Grant led the way on the ground with 96 yards on 21 carries (4.6 avg.) and one touchdown while WR James Jones finished with a game high 103 yards and one touchdown on four receptions.
stat of the week
- With 1,320 receiving yards this season, WR Jordy Nelson surpassed his career high of 1,314 set in 2013.
- He is the second Packers player to record back-to-back 1,300-yard receiving seasons (James Lofton, 1,300 in 1983 and 1,361 in 1984.)
- Nelson also eclipsed 80 receptions for the second season in a row (83 in 2014 and 85 in 2013). He is the fourth player in franchise history to record 80-plus receptions in consecutive seasons (Donald Driver, 2004-07 / Antonio Freeman, 1997-98 / Sterling Sharpe, 1992-94).